New developments, renovations coming to Liberty
By Samantha Phillips
New developments have sprung up on Belmont Avenue over the past year, and township officials are working to continue the progress.
Pat Ungaro, township administrator, said most plazas along Belmont Avenue were empty when he started working in the township 14 years ago. Business in the township has grown significantly since then, he said.
“Every business has been a home run for Liberty,” Ungaro said.
The township has an incentive for new businesses to develop along the avenue with a 49 percent, 10-year tax abatement that was approved by the trustees and the Trumbull County commissioners in 2014, as part of the township’s community reinvestment project. Three businesses have taken advantage of the incentive so far: CK Electric, Comfort Inn and Dunkin’ Donuts.
Since the beginning of 2017, a gastroenterology clinic on Gypsy Lane and a Dollar Tree on Belmont Avenue were established, and the MetroPlex center on Motor Inn Drive was renovated and had its first event in three years in early 2017.
A Dollar General on Belmont will open Jan. 28. Generations Behavioral Health on Colonial Drive is under construction; the Residential Staffing Agency on Belmont next to Giant Eagle is in the process of renovation; and a Shepherd of the Valley near Tibbetts-Wick Road is expected to break ground in the spring.
To help spur economic development, Belmont Avenue has been undergoing a reconstruction project that includes resurfacing, curbing and adding ramps for the disabled where needed. Jodi Stoyak, a township trustee, encourages businesses along the road to paint their buildings and fix facades to contribute to the revitalization.
Lou O’Neill, owner of Jensen’s security business on Belmont, said he installed a roof and painted his business to make it more appealing. He said township officials have done a wonderful job of improving the area.
“I wanted it to look nice like everything else is in this area,” he said.
Stoyak said she would also like to add solar-powered, decorative lighting to the avenue.
About $50 million has been invested in the recent and new establishments, and the developments are expected to create hundreds of part-time and full-time positions, officials said.